October 2009

Life26 Oct 2009 09:39 pm

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…where every leaf…
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…is a…
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-Albert Camus

Life24 Oct 2009 08:23 pm

As the seasons change outside, we are changing inside as well. Things may not appear any differently except for a few orange and green gourds in a bowl on the mantle but we have been changing things up. With the rain, we are now spending more time inside and have expanded our daily activities.

When the first morning of solid rain arrived that looked unrelenting, I thought I would have a long day ahead of me with two toddlers. In a slight panic, I searched on the internet for indoor activities for eighteen month olds in order to pass the time. Google didn’t disappoint with some great, easy activities.

I pulled out my plastic bowling pin set as per one parent’s suggestion. Though they never totally grasped the concept of rolling the bowl to knock down the pins, we had a lot of fun. Leah would put up the pins and as soon as one fell, she would knock over the rest with her hands in almost frustration before breaking out into laughter as the pins collapsed. The balls were thrown, tossed and even rolled once or twice while pins were put into place, knocked down and even thrown a few times as well.

Later in the week, we tried out some playdough. After finding a suitable recipe that we had most of the ingredients for, we got down to business. Leah enjoyed stirring the flour and salt together while Gabby enjoyed playing with the flour that escaped.
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After adding some oil and boiling water, it was playtime. The sensation of touching playdough was very novel and exciting. Gabby was enthusiastically squishing and molding the dough right away while Leah hesitantly watched. After a few minutes, Leah showed a little more excitement but was still a little more reserved.
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I am sure many, many hours will be spent at this table molding, shaping and squishing playdough creations in the years to come. Though their attention didn’t last long, I loved watching them explore something new while I enjoyed a bit of sculpting myself.

Life17 Oct 2009 08:23 pm

We visited beautiful Victoria last week for the Royal Victoria Half Marathon as well as to have Thanksgiving dinner with Morgan’s side of the family. Apparently we didn’t let Leah in on the itinerary as she seemed to think it was a business trip.
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Our time flew by on the island after almost missing our ferry (Morgan just bought our tickets before they closed sales for walk on passengers). We drove to Victoria after a short visit with Morgan’s aunt. After picking up my race package, we found our hotel and relaxed while Leah slept in her playpen. Once we were refreshed, we walked around town before meeting up with some friends for a nice dinner.
The next morning was race day. I was feeling a little anxious and excited but mostly thankful for the wonderful fall morning we were blessed with. Morgan hung out with Leah, meeting me at various points throughout the race. I was so encouraged to see them every now and then. I am used to running with friends while having great conversation but this race I ran alone at my own pace so I was especially happy to see them.

The first few kilometres seemed to drag on making me think this race was going to seem very long. There were many sharp corners with crowds of people struggling to find their way. Thankfully everyone seemed to fall into a steady pace with their fellow runners as the eleven thousand racers spaced out.
After the first bit of the race, the kilometres seem to fly by as the route wound through a beautiful park before following the ocean and circling back though a neighborhood. The leaves were in the midst of their beautiful, autumn color transformation as we ran on streets lined by many mature trees.
The route had many more up and down hills than I expected but was glad I had trained where I live. Any route close to my house is either up or down hill with no flat sections anywhere so I was well prepared. I found it easier to pace myself on the uphill and was also grateful that the uphill was mostly during the first half of the race.

There were a few memorable moments as well. Some people had set up a beer station (identical to a water station except for the beer) outside of their house complete with waiter’s tray and small paper cups. One thoughtful homeowner had a small table with chocolate covered almonds and cut out oranges for the racers to help themselves to. There were a few bands, one trumpet player as well as many people cheering us on while others just watched and stared. There were a few block parties with radios blaring and children and parents alike waving and encouraging all the runners. There also was an interesting race volunteer.
“Move along…. move along.” If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry. I don’t get it at all and probably never will even though my husband would like to watch all the movies with me. (Not even sure what movies they are.)

The water stations seemed few and far between so Morgan helped me out. When I saw him I called out my need for water but it was a little too late for him to get the water bottle. He met me at the next point all ready with Leah’s sippy cup with the lid off full of water. I had to laugh at the sight while appreciating my husband’s innovation.

Just before the one kilometer mark, I heard someone say there was only one hundred and fifty metres left. At this point I started sprinting and then shortly saw the one kilometre left sign. I was a little worried about my stamina but figured I should try keep up a slower sprint to the end. After a few minutes I heard someone say there were only two corners left. There was one corner immediately in front of us so I started picking up my pace again. After the second corner I saw I had been misled again but was inspired to keep up the sprint once again.

When I saw the finish line banner, I gave it my all and finished with a time of 2:11:24. I was hoping for under two and a half hours so I was happy with my end time. I was incredibly sore, really tired and ate excessively but it was all worth it. Even walking to the car after the race was painful but it subsided fairly quickly after some rest.
After a nice, long, warm bath and shower, we enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings with Morgan’s family. Here I am hanging out in the kitchen, a place I love to create in, with the great Aunt Bonnie.
The weekend seem to fly by though we enjoyed all the different experiences. It felt great to go on a mini vacation away from home where we could enjoy some quality family time.

Life13 Oct 2009 01:54 pm

A child’s ability is truly amazing. I believe our job as parents and caregivers is to encourage and nurture that ability enough to stretch the child while carefully and skillfully balancing spurring on growth without leading to too much frustration.

In my years of teaching daycare, we held quite high expectations of the children which we found they were able to uphold even if there were lower expectations in the home. We were surprised when some children would come to us at three to five years of age and dependent on adults for even the simplest of tasks. In the beginning it was a lot of work to get these kids up to speed but it was so rewarding to see their confidence and skill level grow.

As a parent having this education and experience behind me, I still find myself doing things for Leah that she is quite capable herself. Sometimes it is because I’m in a hurry or it is easier to just do it for her or I am totally oblivious to her skill level.


Leah received this great shape sorter at my baby shower which she has been playing with for over a year now. At first she just would pick up the shapes and chew on them. As she got older, we would show her how to put the shapes in the ball and line up the shapes for her.

Not that long ago, Leah and I were chilling on the couch playing with the shapes. Leah would pick up a shape and I would find the corresponding shape on the ball and point it out to her. When Morgan walked by, he told me to let her do it herself. I was amazed when I sat on my hands and let her figure it out for herself. Sure, it took a little longer but I was so proud to watch my little girl do it on her own. Leah was also one proud little girl who just needed her momma to step back and let her shine.

Being with Leah all the time and watching her grow, sometimes I forget that she is ready for more independence and ready for some new challenges. My mommy friends are such a great resource as we share what activities are kids have been up to lately. Without realizing it, we are helping each other assist in our children’s development. Though all children progress at different rates, we can share many ideas and take what works for our child.

I am sure it will be a lifelong process trying to keep a step ahead of Leah as we try to meet her needs to the best of our ability. What a wonderful journey it is as we watch our children learn, discover and grow as we try to set up the environment in which they can excel.

Life08 Oct 2009 03:20 pm

I took these pictures a little while ago after my first trip to a garden centre and was so excited to see some more colour in my garden. There have been bursts of purple every few weeks since we have moved in (I think they were going for a monochromatic garden) but now there are a few more hues to gaze your eyes upon. I also finally relocated some of my vegetable plants from their containers into the ground. Though the tomatoes are almost done, they look a lot better planted in the ground than in a pot placed on top of where they should be planted.
Two of my tomato plants did pretty good this year though I don’t think any of the cherry tomatoes made it into the house as I would snack on them as I picked them off the plant. When I was little I loved to eat tomatoes like you would eat an apple and apparently I would say “me mike matoes” as the juice would run down my chin. Some things never change.

I picked out the third plant at the nursery because of it’s variety which is money maker. I thought it was guarantee for lots of great, large tomatoes but apparently not everything is as it seems as the only fruit on it is two green tomatoes that don’t seem to be ripening.
I picked up a few pansies as well as some white and yellow mums. Here is one beautiful pot of mums from on of our housewarming guests. Our deck seems so much more cheerier and inviting with a few plants on it.
It soon will be time to plant some bulbs to help us welcome spring in a few months as we leave the garden to slumber over our cooler seasons. What a great sight those tulips, daffodils and hyacinth will be but for now, I will start adding a few more layers when we venture outside and explore with Leah and her friends all the beauty of autumn.

Life02 Oct 2009 01:07 pm

Here are some little snapshots throughout our days of what Leah has been up to lately. She enjoys a variety of activities, some of which she has discovered and some which I have set out for her. I think you will be able to tell which ones she has chosen herself.

We received a great kid’s table to put in the eating area of the kitchen which Leah loves to sit at. Since Leah and her friends haven’t mastered keeping their colouring confined to a piece of paper, I covered the whole table with paper for them to go at it. As you can see, she likes to wear her hats periodically throughout the day.
I keep a large basket full of toys in the play area and occasionally move it to the room I’m working in to keep Leah entertained near me. She discovered this week that she can dump out all of it’s many contents all over the floor and jump in. How fun! Her next lesson will be to put everything back in.
Leah has learned how to climbed up to the top of the play structure and go down the slide all be herself. She was so proud the first time she did it herself and did it over and over again.
Sitting Leah on her own chair for dinner didn’t work out so well as she would get up and leave whenever she felt like it which was way before dinner was even close to being done. She ran off to try on some shoes, which is one of her favourite things to do. She especially dad’s sandals as they are easy to get on and usually readily available. I’m still not sure what to make of her facial expression.
Also very new, but not visually recorded is Leah’s new, one-nap-a-day routine. I definitely enjoyed the two naps for as long as it lasted but Leah was letting us know very loud and clear that one was good enough. One nap is okay with me as long as she is happy. This week has been a bit rough with the transition but I think we have it now mostly figured out which leaves more time for Leah to keep being busy.

Life01 Oct 2009 07:24 pm

I think I might be slightly addicted. I love shopping for, sewing and watching Leah wear cool hats, funky shirts and pretty dresses. With each item I make, my sewing improves and the mistakes decrease. For now, I am sticking to basic, simple patterns for children as they are a lot easier than adults.


I wanted to find a simple, plain white hat that would match almost everything Leah wore but couldn’t find one at some of the local shops so I decided to make one. Since it turned out alright, I decided to make a winter hat too.


I just need to add some earmuffs and a strap so this blue eyed beauty will stay warm and won’t lose her hat on our many autumn outings to the park. I picked up quite a bit of fabric on my last visit to the store so I’m sure there will be many more creations to be made during these rainy, dark evenings.